I received a free copy of this book, thanks to Random Things Tours and Flame Tree Press, in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinions on the book.
I still don’t know who this guy is supposed to be, the main character has hair so…
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Tags: Adult Fiction, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Action, Adventure
Publication date: October 6th, 2018
In Ten Thousand Thunders, mankind has advanced in leaps and bounds, a select stratum of humans have achieved immortality by means of ‘saving a copy’ of themselves on to a database and being regenerated once they die. Gethin Bryce has just died aboard a spaceship and is consequently regenerated in a new body. As soon as he’s been ‘reborn’ he’s tasked with getting to the bottom of the uncommon crash he’s suffered along with a handful of other influential passengers. Unbeknownst to him, Gethin Bryce is merely a pawn in a galactic war that no one knows has already begun. A war that pits two(or three, the more the better) giant organizations against each other, but its effects will be cataclysmic. Could it be the sphinxlike and foreboding entity that’s in the center of all this building political drama? What about the AI group that evolved beyond its programmed parameters? And who is this ‘Aphophis’ really?
Ten Thousand Thunders gave me mixed feelings. I was drawn by the blurb, I enjoy science fictions with large world-building and high-tech involved. It’s always fun to see how creative authors can get with them, and Trent did a good job of it. I would say the story would have benefited if he had eased out the world-building and new terms, so that readers wouldn’t suffer from info indigestion(haha, I’m so funny). While in some instances I appreciated that he treated us as intelligent readers, certain words were not that easy to decipher based on context and felt a little contrived. For e.g.
Twelve days were unaccounted for. It was the length of time for a Martian shuttle, sailing brightquest to Luna.
What does ‘brightquest’ mean? I’d hazard a guess that it means ‘super-fast’ or ‘at the speed of light’. Am I close?
This was a major gripe I had. It wasn’t until half-way in that I started getting invested in the story because I’d finally amassed all the new vocabulary and ideas introduced. However, Trent has evidently did some research on the technological stuff mentioned, it makes the story more believable.
Another aspect I didn’t take to was the sexuality that thrummed beneath it all. I’m not a fan of explicitness, if I come across it I try to ignore it, but in Ten Thousand Thunders it sometimes felt like it wouldn’t have made any difference without it. And I found the ratio of attractive vs. ordinary female characters unrealistically imbalanced. There were more boobs mentioned than any male parts(the disproportion is what got to me).
The characters though, were dynamic and felt real. Each one of them had their motives and none of them realised that they were all, in a way, brain-washed on some else’s agenda. At least, not until later on, as they dig themselves unwittingly deeper into the brewing war.
It’s like the first line of Romance of the Three Kingdoms: ‘The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide.
I thoroughly enjoyed the dangers that lurked around the corner, the characters’ confusion as to who’s the real enemy and the wily lab creature that struck unpalpable terror into people’s hearts.
One teeny-tiny scene I also liked was the part where the author described a city taken over by nature, evoking a sombre dystopian picture of a bygone era(ours). Ten Thousand Thunders is an ambitious science-fiction that spans across planets and in the burrows of Earth. It dissects the human nature with a keen, albeit bitter, eye. If the world-building was dealt more smoothly I’m sure this would’ve been a 4 star read, because Brian Trent’s writing skill has potential.
Parental Guidance: 17+
Violence – Yes. Some gore added in as well
Sex – Sexually-charged instances interspersed throughout, explicit sex scenes
Religion – Some characters are strongly atheistic
Profanity – Medium, used selectively
- readers who enjoy hefty sci-fi worlds
- if you like reading about high-tech(like that in TV series Almost Human and Altered Carbon)
Meet the Author
Brian Trent’s speculative fiction appears regularly in the world’s top speculative fiction markets including ANALOG, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction, Apex (winning the Story of the Year Reader’s Poll), Escape Pod, Flash Fiction Online, COSMOS, Galaxy’s Edge, Nature, The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, Pseudopod, and numerous year’s best anthologies. His work has been featured in several volumes of Flame Tree Publishing’s popular Gothic Fantasy Series.
The author of the historical fantasy series Rahotep, Trent is also a Baen Fantasy Adventure Award finalist and Writers of the Futurewinner. His nonfiction works have also appeared in Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, Humanist, and UTNE.
Combining a fascination for history with a unique vision of the future, Trent’s novel Ten Thousand Thunders is the beginning of an exciting new science fiction universe.
Trent lives in New England, where he works as a novelist, screenwriter, and poet. His website and blog are located at http://www.briantrent.com/